Industrial IoT and the increasing requirement for Gateways
With the rapid advancements in the various facets of Information Technology, there has been an immense growth in the field of the Internet of Things with an increasing focus on Industrial IoT. Industrial IoT is poised to transform traditional linear manufacturing processes into a connected system with greater emphasis on data driven decisions. There is now a greater need to monitor the performance of assets and machines ensuring transparency in production efficiency and cost.
To help maintain the balance between the computation power needed for IoT applications and data driven decision, there is a need to transmit relevant data to the cloud for providing the business insights, requiring the adaptation of edge devices. Powerful gateways which can perform the computation on the data collected, when coupled with network connectivity options can be the strong foundation required for a robust IIoT transformation.
Computing Scalability on the Gateway?
Scalability is the property of a system to handle a growing amount of work by adding resources to the system. The fast-paced development in the Industrial IoT domain demands that any new system be easily scalable. Enterprises and industries require proof of concepts to validate solution architecture while evaluating potential RoI on the solution. With a successful proof-of-concept, there is a need to scale up to full scale implementation within a short span of time. With this in mind, there is no time to design a gateway for each solution. Therefore, there needs to exist scalable computing on the gateway with the technology easily configurable for the higher demand.
Applications such as energy monitoring require lower computation power with a moderate level of input data and storage where as a gateway connected to an industrial boiler needs to ingest huge amounts of data per second while also being able to make decision on the edge.
In Industrial IoT implementations, the gateway is central to the system. It is the device which controls the behaviour of the system and determines its efficacy. As systems become more and more complicated, it also needs to be able to carry out edge computing.
Considering all these aspects, it becomes imperative that the gateway is capable of being scalable not only in terms of computing power but also in handling the number of connected devices.
Why Scalable and Modular Communication?
There is now a multitude of wireless connectivity options available for Industrial IoT implementations. Ranging from LoRaWAN and Wirepas to setup a local network infrastructure to 4G Connectivity to the cloud, there is rapid innovation on the wireless connectivity.
For systems where the end nodes are spread over a very large area and the data polling rate is very low (∼1/day), LoRa is best suited. In other cases, where there is a high density of nodes in a smaller area and a high data rates are required, BLE is a viable open source option. Wirepas, on the other hand, is a very robust protocol which enables low latency high data rates for a similar architecture as the previous one. Some implementations require that a single node be able to poll multiple sensors and send the data to the gateway in real-time. Here even higher data rates are required and Wi-Fi proves to be the technology to rely upon.
The above scenarios are only a tip of the iceberg and much more complicated systems are being designed in order to provide the ideal solution to the user’s needs. If a single device can handle this load, then it becomes the most crucial piece of the puzzle while enabling industries and developers to use a single gateway capable of all the above.
CASCADEMIC’s IIoT Gateway
CASCADEMIC Solutions has envisioned this necessity for a powerful device very early on. This is the reason why we have been perfecting our product to achieve scalability in all aspects. The gateway is designed using Industrial grade System-on-Modules, with a plug and play design. This allows us to move between single core, dual core and quad core processors in the blink of an eye.
For communication, we have designed various modules which support the wide array of communication technologies mentioned previously (and more). These modules can be integrated with the gateway in almost any combination required. If it so happens that we did miss out on anything, our strong design and engineering team can build the module to bridge the gap.